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Comparing the Different Forms of Calcium

Posted by DaVinci Healthcare Expert on Jul 10, 2013 1:36:16 PM

By Ashley Watson

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Because the human body does not produce calcium, we must get it from other sources, such as dairy, dark leafy greens, calcium-fortified foods, or supplements. Most calcium supplements contain magnesium and vitamin D that work with the calcium to support bone density and strength. However, there are many different forms of calcium used in health supplements, which can be confusing for people without some guidance about the advantages and disadvantages of each form.

If you don’t feel that you are getting enough calcium in your diet, this blog post will help guide you through choosing the right form for your needs. It’s best to speak with your doctor about taking a calcium supplement so that you know what type of support you need and how much to take. The RDA for calcium is 1,300 mg for adults.

Learn more about vitamins A, D, and K. Check out our white paper.

Most people take calcium supplements if there’s a known calcium deficiency. Here are some of the typical signs of calcium deficiency:

  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Twitching of muscles
  • Low bone density

Your doctor will be able to discuss what calcium supplement and how much to take if you have a known deficiency.

Calcium Citrate

Studies show that calcium citrate is better absorbed than calcium carbonate by approximately 25%, either with meals or on an empty stomach.* If you have gastric issues, this form may be more advantageous to you since it is better absorbed without the digestive enzymes.*

DaVinci® Laboratories carries a vegetarian Cal-Mag powder that contains a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium (600mg per serving) to magnesium (300mg per serving). The citrate form is highly bioavailable partly because the minerals chelated to citric acid are organic compounds. Studies have shown this to be better absorbed by the body than the inorganic minerals in calcium carbonate. Our Cal-Mag powder also contains 2.5 mcg (100 IU) of vitamin D.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is often the cheapest form of calcium you can get in supplements. While this form has medium bioavailability, it is best when taken with food due to the fact that the stomach acid produced while eating helps with absorption.

Calcium Gluconate

This form has low levels of actual calcium concentration. Therefore, if you take this form, it needs to be taken in large amounts. Because of the lack of research and studies on this form, the bioavailability is not certain.

Calcium Lactate

Calcium lactate is the form found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.  This is the form that is typically used in antacids, and it is added to food as a natural preservative. This form also has a medium bioavailability and can be absorbed at various pH levels.

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DaVinci® Laboratories has several different options and strengths of calcium supplements available through your health practitioner. Discuss your calcium needs with your doctor and visit our main site to see if any of our calcium products are right for you.



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